WCA Works to Extend CRP Grazing Deadlines
In a recent email to interim FSA director, Mike Mandere and FSA Administrator, Zach Ducheneaux, the WCA requested on behalf of the cattlemen here in Washington an extension of CRP grazing. Below is an excerpt of the request that was sent by WCA EVP, Ashley House: "I wanted to reach out to you on behalf of the cattlemen here in Washington to formally request an extension of CRP grazing. As you know, ongoing drought compounded by fires has displaced all too many of our producers here in Washington state. I hear grave concerns from our folks about not having immediate places to go with live animals and crippling worries about where they'll put cattle two and even three years from now with limited ground available. One producer, for instance, had much of his USFS grazing allotment burn in addition to the majority of his private ground. His story, unfortunately, is not unusual right now. Interruptions to grazing rotations are broad across our state. Many producers are culling at high rates and are forced with a proposition of liquidating in light of so much unknown and uncertain. This is deeply concerning for the future of our industry and domestic food supply. CRP lands are viable and approved to graze but this (in our view) gets restricted with arbitrary dates and deadlines to come off. Make no mistake, producers desperately need grazing on CRP to be extended past September 30th and well into November. USDA and FSA could help producers tremendously with this extension. Please request or behoove the national office to approve an extension of the CRP grazing deadline to sometime between November 30 and December 15. Moving the date would help producers get back to appropriate seasonal rotation schedules. As I'm told, this date has been extended in the past and we would greatly appreciate a repeat decision to that end." We will keep our members informed of the outcome of this request.